ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts

About the Network

Vision and Aims

The ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts advances ITI’s and UNESCO’s goals of sustainable, peaceful and creative development, in a world characterised by a fertile diversity of cultural expressions.

As understood by the ITI/UNESCO Network, performing arts encompass theatre, drama, dance, music theatre, playwriting and related disciplines.

The Network strives towards building a global platform for higher education institutions to gather, learn from each other, organize exchanges involving scholars, artists and students, and tackle common important academic, artistic and institutional issues. It supports the development of the performing arts in developed and developing countries, with particular emphasis on Africa, helping to improve accessibility to performing arts higher education.

The ITI/UNESCO Network promotes higher education institutions and projects which bring together both theory and practice. It strives to make the importance of education in the performing arts understood and institutionally recognised not only in the academic and artistic worlds, but also by decision-makers and the general public.

Network History

In 2013 a first open call was launched by the International Theatre Institute ITI. More than 20 applications arrived from all over the world. The first General Assembly of the ITI/UNESCO Network, attended by 20 members, took place in December 2015 in Shanghai, China. After discussing the Charter and other administrative issues and submitting the papers to UNESCO, the new Network was approved as a UNITWIN Network by UNESCO in 2015. In the same year the contract between ITI, UNESCO and the member institutions was signed by all the partners, and further meetings dealing with the development of the Network were held.

In 2017 the ITI/UNESCO Network held its first Student Festival, as part of the 35th ITI World Congress in Segovia, Spain.

In October 2018, in conjunction with the International Theatre Institute’s 70th Anniversary celebrations, a second General Assembly and a Conference were held in Shanghai. 54 representatives of 34 Universities from all over the world took part. This event was deemed a great success in carrying out the Network’s mission of gathering like-minded people for exchange. The event led to the expansion of the Network with new members, a consolidation of existing ties, and the creation of Project Groups. The next General Assembly is planned to be held in 2020.

If your institution is interested in joining the Network, please explore How to join the Network?